Happy 2015! As we swing into the New Year, let’s take a look back at the best, the worst and the dubious of the logo design world from the past 12 months.
Before saying goodbye to 2014 forever, we’re going to troll the year one last time and look at some random goodness and badness. It’s also our last chance to squeeze in some bits and pieces that we found interesting, but never got around to blathering about when they were actually news. But before that, and being a serious logo design blog and all, let’s get this out of the way..
Ch-ch-changes in 2014..
There were tons of logo redesigns, makeovers and brand do-overs in 2014 – almost too many to write about. Not that we didn’t try, posting an in-depth analysis of 50 of the more notable. That puppy weights in at almost 6,000 words (yikes!) and is probably TLDR – way too heavy for online reading.
If you’re more the offline reading type, or just want to skim at your leisure, download the .PDF version for your iPad, phone or whatever device strikes your fancy.
Now, onto the fun stuff..
The Chicken Little “Sky is Falling” Department..
Beginning of the year, Squarespace launched it’s template-driven logomatic thingamajig and howls of protest where heard throughout the designosphere. Many folks figured the end was nigh for the industry, some declared the launch a “design crime” while others mocked the new tool without mercy.
Thing is, this is but one more in a long line of web-based DIY logo makers, logo creators & whiz bang generators, none of which have driven the final nail into custom work just yet. Though, and for reasons only known to themselves, Squarespace’s logo doohickey featured underpants as one of their logo templates. So we did what any mature, responsible designer would do – created ourselves an underpants logo. As did half the Internet.
Speaking of which..
By year end another DIY logo generator had launched. Withoomph promised us cheap logos, changing the industry, making logo design affordable for everyone, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Bottoms up. And Satan laughs..
There’s the name Monster. Satan. Then the three slashes in the logo that look like Hebrew letters for 666. Satan. The energy drink’s slogan “Unleash The Beast!” Satan. There’s supposedly a cross in the Monster typography, so when you invert the can to drink it, the cross is upside down. Satan. And hidden in Monster’s ad copy is the sentiment “MILFs love it”. Young horny guys. And Satan. This is actually a thing, has been doing the rounds since at least 2009, but got a new lease in 2014 when this video of Christine Weick went viral and a lot of people thought she was onto something. It gathered so much momentum that Snopes debunked it. The Monster company had to issue a statement in which they tried to deny being in league with the Devil. Which is exactly what you’d expect reps of The Dark Lord to do. Because Satan.
Totally the Worst Logo Design Website of 2014..
This one. It’s non-responsive, clunky and a little overwrought in the design department. (fixed now.) If we were to have a New Year’s resolution list, changing it would be number one. We don’t, so it isn’t, but we are working on a major overhaul. Look for that in the next couple of months. Which kinda makes it a 2015 New Year’s resolution after all.
We’ll never go to the dentist again..
There was the Awesome Princess Dental app. The app icon and artwork were horrifying.
Most delicious new logo of 2014.
Channel 4 (UK) unveiled the logo for their new All 4 digital platform. Looks good enough to eat. My personal fave of the year.
Best logo launch of 2014..
Has to be, hands down, Airbnb. When the accommodation booking service’s new Belo identity was released, social media pounced, seeing a resemblance to breasts, buttocks and vaginas (the picture upstairs does kinda look like someone sporting a giant wanger.) The internet went mad for a week, the logo went viral and dozens of websites asked visitors to submit mashed-up versions of the design for click-bait and user participation. While the internet shitstorm probably caught the company off-guard, this echo-chamber of hype and engagement was exactly what Airbnb wanted to create – a logo that could be bastardized and adapted by users. At least that’s what they’re saying now. Anyhoo, when the dust settled, the Airbnb rebrand is undoubtedly the most successful new rollout of 2014. Wangers and all.
Speaking of wangers..
Owners of Dirty Bird Fried Chicken said their new logo isn’t one. The world disagreed. Any confusion was cleared up when the designer, Mark James, posted the branding to his tumblr. No double double entendres there. Totally about chicken.
Worst logo launch of 2014..
The Toronto Raptors basketball logo. First, the logo itself. Kinda bland. So much so that brand ambassador Drake (the rapper guy) felt he needed to distance himself from it. The claw would deflate the basketball, so it’s questionable in the rationale department. Unoriginal (many fans noticed a similarity to the Brooklyn Nets, something which the Raptors emphasized by initially releasing the new design in black and white.)
The new slogan “We are north” is not only dumb, but inaccurate (Minneapolis is more “north” than Toronto.) Then, there was the timing. The news started hitting on December 19, just 6 days before Christmas. Any Raptors merch in stores featured the “old” logo and who wants to buy an outdated Raptors T-shirt as a Christmas gift for their loved one? Certainly not us.
And then there was Hershey..
The Hershey Company launched their new logo. It looked like a poo emoji. The internets went wild. We may have started it. For that, we are sorry.
The more things change..
This gem did the rounds last year: Same old story. Company launches a logo design contest, promising fame and riches to the winner. A whole bunch of designers submit entries in hopes of getting picked and paid. The contest holder decides the contest isn’t really a thing, cancels it, and nobody wins. Happens every day on design contest sites. This was Sony though. And the year was 1981.
From the politically correct department..
Then there was the time that ever-so-helpful 99designs thought it would be a good idea to explain the different color palettes and systems with cartoon characters. Each space – RGB & CMYK – had their own “gang” and members of the gangs represented different colors. Cute and all, except for the yellow guy from the CMYK gang. He looked like a skinhead. Worse, the K guy was done up in blackface.
Ask and yee shall receive..
Then there was the time were a 99designs contest holder launched a design contest for their new startup, requesting a “Mario Brothers type” logo. 99designers are apparently eager to please, and what they submitted was a bunch of Super Mario logos. Not “like” Super Mario logos. Actual Super Mario logos. One even won. Not sure what Nintendo thought about the sale of their most valuable and successful trademark for three hundred bucks though.
Same circus. Different clown..
Taking a page from 99designs success, the “get rich quick” scheme of the design world is launching a so-called crowdsourcing site, have a whole bunch of designers work for nothing, grab forty points off the top. It’s a nice racket indeed. Accordingly, there was a bunch of bandwagon-jumping contest sites launched in 2014, most of them of the “Same Circus. Different Clown” variety. There was one, Design Hill, that caught our attention a couple of times. Like last summer, when they announced a design contest for the 2014 Brazil World Cup logo. On June 13.
Not only about four years late, but the contest was announced the day after the tournament had already begun. This was a guaranteed contest mind you, emphasized by the generous use of asterisks around the word. In the real world, guaranteed means promising to do something, but on design contest sites, it usually means something different entirely. Like not guaranteed at all. Six months later, that contest is still unawarded, held and unpaid.
Ah well, there’s always the Russian World Cup in 2018. Speaking of which…
The FIFA 2018 Russia World Cup logo was parodied, lampooned and mashed by fans and detractors alike. Despite all the hating, the logo isn’t half-bad. For comparison’s sake, here’s all the World Cup logos and artwork since the tournament’s inaugural:
Now let’s look at the 2018 Russia logo proper:
Technically speaking, the event didn’t even start having “real” logos until Mexico in 1970. Since then, there’s only been eleven designs, and the Russian attempt is certainly better than most of them.
Oh c’mon guys!
The Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) got themselves a new name, a new logo and a new website in 2014. Which was nice. If you searched our name on their website, we had been listed – since 2010 – as a crowdsourcing site along with 99designs, Crowdspring, Design Crowd, et al. That hurt guys..
Speaking of things Canadiana, the seemingly endless quest for a logo to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary could qualify as a complete clusterfuck for the second year in a row. This project, started back in 2013, has racked up tens of thousands in focus groups (that failed to focus on anything,) some truly mediocre designs, a bunch of carping and whining from everyone and anyone. Ensuring this fiasco made it onto our 2014 list as well, the Canadian Government announced a design contest late November. Canadian designers were not pleased.
Can I use the damn logo or not?!!
Logo usage guides are always a good idea. What logo goes where and what-not, all nice and simple so that the front office knows which file to send to printers and web design guys. The usage guide for Spotify‘s logo is terrifyingly complex and probably requires a degree in advanced physics.
Why that’s brilliant!
Comedian and political activist Russel Brand published his new book Revolution. Designers were impressed with the logo for the tome: “Ooooh, Russel’s turned the word Love backwards so it reads Love and Revolution at the same time. How clevah!” was the general consensus. Oh, it was clever alright. When US politician Ron Paul did it in 2008 as part of his presidential campaign. The Beatles may have had some influence too:
As they are fond of saying: “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.”
Say goodbye to 18-3224. And hello to 18-1438..
That’s the number of the official Pantone color of 2015, also known as Marsala as announced by the Pantone Color Institute. It’s named after a wine. Cause it’s sorta purple and stuff. It’s also kinda hideous.
The color succeeds Pantone 18-2334, the 2014 color of the year, also known as Radiant Orchid, who performed their duties admiringly.
You say Obama. We say Ebola.
The Ebola outbreak was one of the big stories of 2014 so let’s cash in. Take the iconic O from the Obama logo (the best logo of 2008.) Swap out the O in Ebola. Print up some shirts because profits. Not tasteless at all. Probably not racist either.
Fiverr, Fourerr, Threeer..
The big trend of 2014 had to be the so-called “Gig Economy,” part of the so-called “Sharing Economy” also known as the “Collaborative Economy.” Even though it’s a few years old now, it came to attention of designers because like most discount design services, their work started getting ripped off with alarming frequency. There’s Fiverr (who many think are awful,) where for $5 you can allegedly buy something that approximates a logo. Whether or not the logo is original, or pinched from someone else, is anyone’s guess – we managed to find, and buy, our own. Of course, when $5 is too rich for your blood, there’s always Fourerr. No, not kidding..
This platform isn’t coy about their come hither, asking simply “what are you willing to do for $4?” Apparently knock off our house logo is among the things people on Fourerr are willing to do:
Now, there’s even a Threer of sorts. Except they call themselves Gig Crate:
Sadly, not kidding about that either. Alas, all this Fiverr, Fourr stuff leads to some confusion about who’s supposed to charge what where.
$5 logos on Fourerr triggers my OCD in a big way. As does this…
That would be $1 logo design. On a site called Tenrr. No, I’m not kidding.
And with that little bit of schadenfreude to end up, we’ll close the chapter on 2014 once and for all. Like so:
Here’s wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015 from all of us at The Logo Factory.